Post-Lump Sum Claims for Benefits
Illinois workers’ compensation laws provide a method for workers to seek benefits through their employer after suffering a work-related accident or industrial illness. Workers’ compensation is financial assistance paid to employees as a type of benefit, without requiring proof of fault in the way it is required in personal injury claims for example. These benefits may include medical expenses and disability, as well as vocational rehabilitation, death benefits, and more. Some employer insurance companies offer injured employees a fixed lump sum payment instead of making weekly or periodic payments in order to settle a workers’ compensation claim. When an injured worker needs to make a claim for benefits after agreeing to a lump sum settlement, our office may be able to help. At Therman Law, our Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys can potentially advocate on your behalf, helping you pursue the benefits you may need following the worsening of a medical condition arising from an on-the-job injury.Understanding Workers’ Compensation Post-Lump Sum Claims for Benefits
Section 9 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Act”) provides that instead of weekly payments made by the insurer to the injured employee following a workplace injury, a lump sum settlement may be arranged. Negotiating this payment requires careful assessment of the worker’s medical condition and needs, as some work injuries are exacerbated with time.
While there are benefits to accepting a lump sum settlement, there are also disadvantages which may include a possible inability to secure more medical benefits upon a worsening of a condition, for example. In most situations, the contract language within a settlement determines whether an employee has the right to pursue post-lump sum claims for benefits. Employees typically give up the right to challenge the settlement related to the injury or illness addressed by the award. Further, after a lump sum settlement has been approved and issued, strict time constraints exist with regard to filing a request for changes.Petitioning for Additional Benefits
Even after a settlement is approved, the employee may be able to petition for additional medical services that are reasonably necessary to help with work injury-related symptoms. Employees may file post-lump sum claims for benefits if they suffer substantial deterioration of the condition caused by the work-related accident. A claim made in this manner must not have been foreseen, and must have been caused by the work accident. Expenses incurred must be “reasonable, necessary and causally related” to the workplace injury.
If the insurer does not agree to a request for medical services, then the employee may need to petition, asking for assistance resolving the controversy. Certain documents may be necessary to support this petition. Medical records, for example, are typically required, and a doctor will need to acknowledge that the worker’s health has deteriorated, or that their condition has worsened due to the original work injury. An external cause for a worsening of a condition will not typically support reopening of the settlement. A medical professional usually attests to necessary treatment as well. A skilled work injury lawyer can help with this process, which also includes showing why the case should be reopened, and what benefits are sought.Consult a Wheaton or Schaumburg Attorney Regarding Your Work Injury Claim
A post-lump sum claim for benefits can prove necessary for certain injured workers. At Therman Law Offices, our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers can help you understand how to pursue benefits following acceptance of a lump sum settlement in Schaumburg or Wheaton. We work to build strong arguments that set forth your medical needs, and maintain communication with you throughout your case. We are available to help injured workers throughout Glendale Heights, Elmhurst, Addison, Lombard, Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, West Chicago, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Darien, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, Clarendon Hills, and Lisle. If you are interested in setting up a free consultation, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us through our online form.